Paralympic champion victorious in men’s wheelchair race at adidas Silverstone Half Marathon as M60 Martin Rees sets world best in Bath
There was a different kind of action on Silverstone track on Sunday as competitors joined the likes of David Weir, Jade Jones, Scott Overall and Sarah Ivory in the adidas Silverstone Half Marathon.
In the wheelchair race, Paralympic champion Weir took an impressive lead early on.
In what was his first race since his four gold medals at London 2012, Weir furthered his lead to win in 47:32, more than five minutes ahead of second-place Simon Lawson.
Speaking afterwards, Weir said: “I found today’s conditions tougher than last year [when he set a new course record of 45:20], but the race went well.
“I feel like I’m in pretty good shape considering the amount of time I’ve had out. Today’s race revealed what I need to do in training, so I’ll knuckle down for the next seven weeks so I’m ready to give it my best shot and go for a record seven wins at this year’s London Marathon.”
Elsewhere, running for Blackheath & Bromley Harriers, defending champion Scott Overall went through the first mile in 4:56 to gain a lead of 16 seconds ahead of his closest rival.
Overall may have been in New Orleans Half Marathon action the weekend before where he finished seventh in 64:52 behind winner Mo Farah, but he was fresh enough to deliver consistent sub-five-minute miles to take the win in 65:41.
“I planned to run a tempo effort as part of my build up to the London Marathon in April so today gave me a lot of confidence,” he said. “The conditions were tough, but it seems to be windy everywhere I race at the moment. There were some long, hard drags but I’m pleased that everything went to plan today.”
Sarah Ivory won the women’s race by an impressive margin to finish in 82:34. “I felt great today and went for it,” said the Colchester Harrier. “It feels really good to have won. To knock more than two minutes off my previous best is brilliant.”
In the women’s wheelchair race, 17-year-old Jade Jones took 10 minutes off the previous course record to win in 62:09. Although too young to take part in the full London Wheelchair Marathon this April, Jones is set to take part in the Virgin Money Giving Mini Marathon, which she’s won twice. “I felt great out there,” said Jones. “Winning here today has given me a huge boost before the Mini Marathon; it’s such an amazing event and the spectators really spur me on.”
There was more half marathon action elsewhere on Sunday, with the Bath Half Marathon witnessing a record-breaking run from Martin Rees who set a new world best in the M60 category.
Having turned 60 the week before, Rees crossed the line in 71:32, shaving two minutes and 46 seconds off the previous record.
Ethiopian Tewodros Shiferaw crossed the line first in the men’s race with 63:26 while Kenyan Polline Wanjiru won the women’s race in 70:26 beating Susan Partridge by just 4 seconds.
Elsewhere, away from the road, Olympic finalist Sophie Hitchon went top of the Power of Ten hammer rankings in her first competition of the year with 70.34m at the British Athletics Hammer Circle Winter Throws Trials at Loughborough.
Mark Dry was also on form and went top of the men’s rankings with a 72.45m victory over Olympic finalist Alex Smith who went second in the rankings with 70.94m.
» For full adidas Silverstone Half Marathon results click here